Happy International Coworking Day! 7 Years ago Women Who Cowork was born out of a lack of representation in the coworking history timelines. We knew womxn were opening spaces, staffing spaces and working out of coworking spaces across the globe, yet their stories weren’t being told. Two years after our inception, in fact, the 2018 Global Coworking Survey found that 70% of salaried employees working for a coworking space were women, yet only 30% of coworking spaces were founded by or owned by women. The survey results also highlighted the pay equity gap, showing that female founders and owners earned less and were more likely to operate smaller coworking spaces. 

From these early observations of gender inequality in our industry and our own personal experiences as an early coworking founder and operator, we were determined to co-create and co-lead a more equitable and inclusive future of work. We saw clearly that the future of coworking was being led by women and that we had an opportunity to become stronger and more resilient, together. Now, 7 years later we look back with gratitude and admiration for not only the connections, community and representation that we’ve co-created with the womxn of coworking, across the globe, but also for the collective impact we have made in these efforts. 

Today, in solidarity with International Coworking Day, we mark our 7 years of Womxn Who Cowork community by observing and celebrating these 7 areas of transformational impact we have made, and continue to make, on the coworking industry. 

Impact #1: Bringing visibility and community to the womxn of the movement through championing women owned coworking businesses, organizing leadership retreats, in-person meetups, online community, and partnering with professional coworking organizations and conferences across the globe. 

Impact #2: Declaring that coworking needs to add the word Inclusivity to the 5 Core Values, and then leading with intentional inclusivity.

Impact #3: Committing to making the coworking industry more Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable and Accessible by leading 3 monthly challenges and actively supporting the crucial work of the Coworking IDEA Project

Impact #4: Advocating for and enabling safer coworking spaces for people of all gender identities and expressions. Presented the 2021 Keynote address to the Coworking Spain Conference on Sexual Harassment Prevention in Coworking and created a Sexual Harassment Policy Toolkit that addresses the coworking model’s unique challenges in preventing and responding to the incidents that happen in our communities.

Impact #5: Amplifying the womxn-owned and operated spaces across the globe by building the first online, searchable map built to center them.

Impact #6: Disrupting the ‘sisterhood glass ceiling’ experience and introducing circle-minded leadership within a collaborative community of womxn who lift each other up and provide support to each other, every chance they get. 

Impact #7: Destigmitizing entrepreneurial mental health by introducing the conversation about mental health to the coworking industry, hosting daily mental health support sessions during the global Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020, developing our signature trauma-informed business training program for coworking operators/founders, providing resources for community managers to support a mental health positive culture or navigate suicide in their community; and proudly sponsoring the #Tools4Founders Campaign, providing more awareness and resources for entrepreneurial mental health.

We are grateful and humbled by the true connection, support and community we have all co-created these past 7 years, and are ready to continue the work of making the future of work an inclusive one.

As part of our commitment to an inclusive future of work, we are gifting everyone who self-identifies as a womxn 30 days of our Resilient Community Builder business and mental health coaching. Details can be found here.

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